Resilience Through Appropriation: Pilots' View on Complex Decision Support

Zelun Tony Zhang, Cara Storath, Yuanting Liu and Andreas Butz

28th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI '23),

March 2023 · doi: 10.1145/3581641.3584056


Intelligent decision support tools (DSTs) hold the promise to improve the quality of human decision-making in challenging situations like diversions in aviation. To achieve these improvements, a common goal in DST design is to calibrate decision makers' trust in the system. However, this perspective is mostly informed by controlled studies and might not fully reflect the real-world complexity of diversions. In order to understand how DSTs can be beneficial in the view of those who have the best understanding of the complexity of diversions, we interviewed professional pilots. To facilitate discussions, we built two low-fidelity prototypes, each representing a different role a DST could assume: (a) actively suggesting and ranking airports based on pilot-specified criteria, and (b) unobtrusively hinting at data points the pilot should be aware of. We find that while pilots would not blindly trust a DST, they at the same time reject deliberate trust calibration in the moment of the decision. We revisit appropriation as a lens to understand this seeming contradiction as well as a range of means to enable appropriation. Aside from the commonly considered need for transparency, these include directability and continuous support throughout the entire decision process. Based on our design exploration, we encourage to expand the view on DST design beyond trust calibration at the point of the actual decision.

subject terms: human-AI interaction, decision support tools, intelligent decision support, AI-assisted decision-making, naturalistic decision-making, imperfect AI, appropriation, aviation